Essential Gear for a Backcountry Bike-Rafting Adventure

Essential Gear for a Backcountry Bike-Rafting Adventure

Want to tackle a backcountry bike-rafting combo adventure? Here’s your gear checklist to get your thrills while staying safe and comfortable.

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1. Specialized Fatboy Comp Carbon

This is anything but sluggish, proving light and nimble on dirt roads, with a slack-enough geometry to handle steep, rocky descents. The frame is more than capable of stashing a full assortment of bags, making it an ideal hauler for multi-day trips that require lots of food and water. Most important, the 3.8-inch tires float through sand traps that would snag skinnier tires.


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Watershed McKenzie Dry Bag
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2. Watershed McKenzie Dry Bag

Fully waterproof, this dry bag keeps crucial gear protected while on the water and houses 10.5 liters of storage that snaps to the handlebars while biking.


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Relevate Designs Ripio Frame Bag
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3. Revelate Designs Ripio Frame Bag

This triangular bag fits perfectly in the bike’s frame to provide eight liters of storage, perfect for extra water. Also, hard-earned beer. Stretchy Cordura panels allow overstuffing without busting the zippers.


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HydraPak Seeker 4L
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4. HydraPak Seeker 4L

This totable water bag molds into empty caryall spaces (thanks, silicone), helping to carry enough water deep into the desert backcountry.

[$22–$28, from 2 to 4 liters;]

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Alpacka Caribou Raft
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5. Alpacka Caribou Bikeraft

No pool toy, the Caribou is built from ballistic nylon, but rolls up to the size of a Big Gulp at a stashable 4.75 pounds (cram in a pack or strap to bike handlebars). Once inflated, front tie-down loops help rig necessities (like the bike) while zipper access into the raft’s tubes provide waterproof storage. The new Caribou shaves a pound off the Classic, while providing a more stable platform for carrying your bike. This is a must for bike-rafting.

[From $795;]

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Freefly Bamboo Crossover Hoody
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6. Freefly Bamboo Crossover Hoody

Under the brutal sun, give thanks to a sun-shielding layer. This Bamboo Crossover Hoody has UPF 50 protection and a hood that stretches over a helmet.


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Eddyline Crank Yanker beer
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7. Eddyline Crank Yanker IPA

About that limited space: This IPA delivered big taste and reward for day’s end, at 7 percent ABV in a 16-ounce tallboy can. Because there’s always room for beer.


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